Jallianwala Bagh conference: 'Preserve heritage of Indian freedom struggle’ : The Tribune India

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Jallianwala Bagh conference: 'Preserve heritage of Indian freedom struggle’

Jallianwala Bagh conference: 'Preserve heritage of Indian freedom struggle’

Writers, speakers and intellectuals attend the two-day international conference on Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on Sunday. Sunil Kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 24

Writers, speakers and intellectuals gathered from all over the country to attend the, “Jallianwala Bagh: Two-day international conference on past and present”, which concluded here on Sunday, were unanimous in their opinion that the youth must come forward to preserve the heritage of the freedom struggle.

Speakers voiced their concern over rising incidents of religious intolerance and riots speakers said General Dyer, who ordered the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh was killed.

However, in today’s India, there were several General Dyers, who rioted, massacred and were involved in anti-national incidents in the country, but remained scot free, speakers added.

On the second day of the conference, Sukhdev Singh Sirsa, president, All India Progressive Writers Association, commenced the proceedings of the session in which poets kept everyone mesmerised with their poems.

Addressing the first session, titled ‘Bol Ke Lab Azad Hei Tere’, Sirsa said writers, poets, people associated with history and literature were unanimous in their appeal to the youth from the stage to stay connected with their heritage.

He stressed that the young generation was the only link, who could take care of their legacy and preserve it for the generations to come.

Elaborating the Jallianwala Bagh incident in detail, Prof Gurdev Singh Sidhu said following the massacre the then British government had started confiscating all the material associated with it (massacre). They even initiated legal proceedings against those writers and journalists, who were writing on the massacre in newspapers and journals, said Sidhu.

Taking strict action against those, who printed the material, they were sent to jails, Sidhu added. The British started taking legal action against the rebels by making new laws, said Sidhu. He talked about many such laws through which the British government prosecuted innocent people.

Prof Jasbir Singh of Panjab University said many sympathisers of the British India government had tried extremely hard to define the massacre as a sporadic case. However, only after the massacre that the decline of British rule had commenced, he said. He exhorted poets and writers to express the pain of the massacre in their creations so that the posterity could learn of its poignancy.

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